Modular Building Institute

Kirkland Avenue Townhomes

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
Champion Commercial Structures
Champion Commercial Structures
Renton, WA
Building Use:
(R-2) Residential
Gross Size of Project:
15996 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    A vanguard project in Washington for modular construction, the Kirkland Avenue Townhomes are the largest publicly funded affordable housing project in Washington to be built using modular construction & won the 2015 Governor's Smart Communities Award. The 2-story townhomes provide (14) 2-bedroom townhomes & (4) 3-bedroom flats for low income families & veterans. The interior layout features an open plan for kitchen, living & dining – offering ample daylight & cross ventilation. The exterior design celebrates modular construction by featuring a split gable at the 14’ module width. The townhomes are offset 4’ to create a contemporary interpretation of the archetypal house. The buildings are nestled among mature trees making the project feel like it’s been there a long time, but the fresh architectural design clearly marks it as a new development. The cost-conscious design incorporates a high level of sustainable features. All stormwater is managed onsite.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    Working closely with civil engineers & landscape architects, innovative stormwater solutions were developed into attractive rain gardens & pervious paving as opposed to traditional below grade water detention vaults. These gardens serve the functional requirements of stormwater retention, while providing additional landscaping at no additional cost. Specific site strategies include: All stormwater is managed through Low Impact Development – drought tolerant plantings, porous pavements & bioretention swales; 75% pervious paving for walkways; 100% pervious paving for parking lot; All building roof runoff is directed to bio-retention swales & retention galleries under the previous parking lot; Run-off from public roadway which was previously untreated is cleaned in the bio-retention swales and; Native drought tolerant plants / no permanent irrigation.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    The bold but simple design is cost conscious & incorporates a high level of sustainable features; providing a home that is attractive & healthy for both residents & planet. Nestled into a residential neighborhood, these modular, energy-efficient homes are appropriately scaled to fit within the character & density of the neighborhood. The design was focused on creating equality for all tenants by providing similar daylighting & natural ventilation through its massing strategy. This allowed the heating & ventilation system to be simple electric cove heaters with a whole house exhaust fan–eliminating costly duct runs & expensive furnaces. The buying power of a national modular vendor allowed the client to purchase higher quality materials (which are ultimately more durable & will not require as frequent replacement) such as solid core doors, solid surface countertops, marmoleum flooring & all plywood cabinet construction resulting in long-term maintenance & operations savings.
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